NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Rangers fans may soon be waving goodbye to their captain.
According to the New York Daily News, Rangers general manager Glen Sather “plans to buy out the final season of captain Chris Drury’s five-year, $35.25 million contract.”
“He’s gone,” a source told the paper.
The report isn’t exactly a shocker, considering Rangers coach John Tortorella’s telling interview just days after New York was ousted from the playoffs.
“This is something, honestly, that we have to look at as far as where does he fit now,” Tortorella said. “We are going young. With older guys, those are conversations that we have to have as we continue here for the next few months.”
Drury was sidelined for two months after a knee injury in February that required surgery. He returned and scored a goal in New York’s regular-season finale — a 5-2 win over New Jersey on April 9 that put the Rangers in the playoffs.
“Dru is getting older,” said Tortorella. “That’s why he has this chronic knee. It’s certainly not my total decision but I have my thoughts.”
If the Rangers decide to buy out the remainder of Drury’s contract, he would become a free agent and New York would be on the hook for a $3.7 million cap hit next season and a $1.6 million hit in 2012-13.
Why the shakeup? The Rangers are expected to run hard at free agent Brad Richards. The price tag will likely be steep — as will the cap space needed to sign him.
But wait, there’s more.
“The Blueshirts also appear likely to buy out the remaining year on midseason pickup Wojtek Wolski’s deal,” reported the Daily News, “saving another $3.3 million next season while incurring a $666,667 charge in 2012-13.”
If the Rangers can’t nab Richards… then what? Sound off in the comments below…
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